Fun Lesser Mouse-Deer Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
May 01, 2023 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
The lesser mouse-deer facts are one of the most interesting around! How many can you remember?
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

Is it a mouse? Is it a deer? Neither, it is a Mouse-Deer!

They have their range in all sorts of locations, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and many more. These small animals and their families inhabit not just the mainland, but also small islands.

For the longest time, science did not even know of their existence, but due to recent explorations into the islands (particularly around Thailand), much more has come to know about their families on their island.

Many people like Nowak have made interesting observations about the range of animals. Nowak said that their legs are as thin as a pencil.

Now imagine navigating the islands around Thailand with legs that small! It's a tough task, but hey, they do it well! So if you ever decide to visit Thailand, then make sure you pay a visit to these little ones.

Read on to know everything about this small, adorable animal in Thailand, and make sure you check out other equally cute animals such as the auroch and the takins.

Lesser Mouse-Deer Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Lesser Mouse-Deer?

The Mouse-Deer (Tragulus) is a type of deer.

What class of animal does a Lesser Mouse-Deer belong to?

The Lesser Mouse-Deer belongs to the class of mammals.

How many Lesser Mouse-Deers are there in the world?

The overall population size of the Tragulus kanchil is unknown according to the IUCN Red List and other sources. However, there is cause for concern regarding their population.

Where does a Lesser Mouse-Deer live?

The Lesser Mouse Deer lives in the woods. They do not prefer to come to humans very often, which is why they spend a lot of time in hiding. The Tragulus Javanicus can be present in Southeast Asia's overgrown main and secondary forests.

What is a Lesser Mouse-Deer's habitat?

Tropical moist forests, moist savanna, and shrubland, mangrove forest, marsh forest, are all home to the Lesser Mouse. In addition, they can be observed in plowed areas.

They like to live close to water, near cliffs, hollow trees, and thick forests. In the daytime, they prefer thick underbrush in crown-gap areas, and at night, they prefer drier higher ridge areas.

Who do Lesser Mouse-Deers live with?

The Lesser Malay Mouse-deer (family: Tragulidae) tends to establish a monogamous family group. The Lesser Mouse-Deer is shy, preferring to remain unnoticed, and are usually solitary creatures; although, they are occasionally seen with mates or in groups. Males and females each have home territories that differ significantly, but individuals of similar sex do not share regions.

How long does a Lesser Mouse-Deer live?

The average lifespan of Tragulus kanchil in captivity is about 12 years. Although, hunting for their smooth skin, and predation by wild dogs are the main threats to these animals. This results in a population decline so severe that not even the IUCN can identify solid data.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season for the Mouse-Deer (Lesser Malay Chevrotain) is all year long. Females may have two to three fawns every year after a reproduction period of 140-177 days.

The newborn fawn will stand within 30 mins of birth, but it (the fawn) must remain concealed in the thick brush until weaned.

The Lesser Mouse-Deer fawn develops maturity rapidly as an adult. Both sexes of the Tragulus Kanchil get their maturity at different stages a male reaches at the age of 166 days while a female reaches at the age of 125 days.

What is their conservation status?

The Tragulus Javanicus is categorized as Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List. However, this has been highly contested, and research is going on to confirm this.

Lesser Mouse-Deer Fun Facts

What do Lesser Mouse-Deers look like?

Antlers and horns are not found on mouse deer. Adult males, on the other hand, have enlarged tusk-like upper canine teeth. The canine teeth penetrate from the edge of the mouth.

These canines are not found in females. In addition, females are slightly smaller than males. Mouse-deer fur is brown with an orange hue. The underneath is almost white.

The neck also has a set of white vertical marks. The head of a mouse deer is triangular, and the body is round with raised rear fenders. The thin legs have a diameter of around a pencil.

The young fawn of this Lesser Mouse-Deer can walk after just 30 minutes.

How cute are they?

The mouse-deer species (genus: Tragulus)  is one of the smallest existent ungulate mammals without antlers. These tiny animals (mouse-deer) that have white stripes on the neck with round shape body look cute.

How do they communicate?

The Mouse-Deer or Chevrotain are normally silent mammals, the only sound they produce is a shrill scream when they become startled. To enter their grazing and resting places, T. Kanchil or Lesser Malay Mouse-Deer travel via tunnel-like tracks of dense bush, which are mostly in the gaps of cliffs and thick vegetation.

Mouse-Deer males are territorial, and they use secretions from scent glands underneath their chin to label their territories. Mouse-Deer males defend themselves and their partners by pursuing or cutting competitors with their sharp canine teeth.

How big is a Lesser Mouse-Deer?

Lesser Malayan Mouse-Deer size is about 18 in (45.7 cm) while the length of Tragulus napu (Greater Mouse-Deer) is 22 in (56 cm). Lesser Mouse-Deer are much smaller than Greater Mouse-Deer in the contest of size.

How fast can a Lesser Mouse-Deer run?

Even though their legs are just the thickness of a pencil, the stumping can reach a speed of up to 7 times per second.

How much does a Lesser Mouse-Deer weigh?

The body mass of the Mouse-Deer Tragulus is about 4.4 lb (2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of these species don't have any separate names.

What would you call a baby Lesser Mouse-Deer?

The baby of Lesser Mouse-Deer (family: Tragulidae) is called a fawn.

What do they eat?

Lesser Malay Mouse-Deer (Tragulus kanchil) or Chevrotain are mostly herbivores and folivores in the wild range, consuming fallen leaves, shrubs, buds, and fruits. These species have a habitat on the forest floor of thick vegetation, but in zoos, they like to consume insects, fruits, and leaves.

Are they dangerous?

The Lesser Mouse-Deer or Chevrotain (genus: Tragulus group) is one of the smallest animal species with a hoof, in the world. As far as the information we have about these animals, the specimen is not dangerous for human beings.

Would they make a good pet?

The Lesser Mouse-Deer (Tragulus kanchil) is a tiny, very shy, and solitary mammal. Due to the calm nature of this deer species, the Lesser Mouse-Deer pet is a good idea.

Did you know...

Female Lesser Malay Mouse-Deer will conceive 85-155 minutes after childbirth (fawn birth), allowing them to be fertile for the rest of their lives.

Borneo is the third-biggest island in the world, where a large range of Mouse-Deer (kanchil) is found.

Deer may not have the stomachs to consume large quantities of meat, however, they can and will occasionally eat amounts of meat, such as mice, if they are starving and can get to it quickly. Mouse-Deer, which belongs to the Tragulus genera has an average basal metabolic rate of about 4.88 watts.

Is Lesser Mouse-Deer Endangered?

Habitat destruction due to urbanization and cultivation, poaching, and predation by wild dogs are all threats to the Lesser Mouse-Deer. Captive breeding is one way to save Lesser Mouse-Deer or Chevrotains species from going extinct. This is also achieved in zoos.

How did the Lesser Mouse-Deer get its name?

The Lesser Mouse-Deer is the world's tiniest hightailed mammal. While being a shy and elusive woodland-dwelling deer relative that is seldom seen, it is well-known across the Southeast Asia range. The 'kanchil' word is derived from the Malay word 'Sang Kancil,' which refers to a well-known deceiver and traditional hero.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Kudu fun facts for kids, and Key Deer facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Lesser mouse deer coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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